Excavations in the Plain of Antioch III: Stratigraphy, Pottery, and Small Finds from Chatal Höyük in the Amuq Plain. OIP 143.
Pucci, Marina, Excavations in the Plain of Antioch III: Stratigraphy, Pottery, and Small Finds from Chatal Höyük in the Amuq Plain. OIP 143. (University of Chicago, Oriental Institute Publications, 2019), pp. lxiv + 336 (Part I); pp. xiv + 570 (Part 2).Abstract

With appendices from J.A. Brinkman, E. Götting, and G. Hölbl

These volumes present the final report of the four archaeological campaigns carried out by the Oriental Institute at the site of Chatal Höyük in the Amuq (currently Hatay, Turkey) under the directorship of Ian McEwan and Robert Braidwood, more than eighty years after their field operations. The excavation’s documents (daily journals, original drawings, photos, lists of objects, and letters) stored in the Oriental Institute Archives, as well as the approximately 13,000 small finds and pottery sherds from the site currently kept at the Oriental Institute Museum, provided the necessary dataset for the analysis presented here. This dataset allowed the author to reconstruct the life of a village which survived the political turmoil in the period from the Late Bronze Age to the end of the Iron Age (16th–6th centuries BC). If Chatal Höyük was during the Late Bronze Age a village in the provincial part of a large empire (Hittite), it became a large independent town in a small but powerful new political entity (Walistin) during the Iron Age I and II, before being conquered by the Assyrian Empire. 

In this extended publication of small finds and pottery, many previously unpublished materials are made available to both general readers and scholars for the first time. The material culture discussed and analyzed here offers the chance to trace changes and continuity in the site’s domestic activities, to point out shifts in cultural contacts over a long period of time, and to monitor the construction of a new community identity.   

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Tell el-Borg II. Excavations in North Sinai.
Hoffmeier, James K., ed. Tell el-Borg II. Excavations in North Sinai. (University Park, PA, Eisenbrauns, 2019), pp. 439.Abstract

with contributions by
Louise Bertini, Thomas W. Davis, Scott D. Haddow, James K. Hoffmeier, Rexine Hummel, Hesham M. Hussein, Salima Ikram, Mark Janzen, Michelle A. Loyet, Claire Malleson, Carol McCartney, Stephen O. Moshier, and Gregory D. Mumford


This is the second and final volume of scientific and interdisciplinary reports on the excavations and research conducted at Tell el-Borg, north Sinai, between 1998 and 2008, written by the scholars and specialists who worked on the site under the direction of Professor James K. Hoffmeier.

This volume focuses on the cemetery areas, which yield more than a dozen tombs, typically made of mud brick, some of which were constructed for a single occupant and some of which were larger tombs that accommodated multiple family members. Included is a treatment of an area of “public” space featuring a temple and a well, among other things, and a study of the geological results of the nearby ancient Ballah Lakes that offers new data on the history of the Nile distributary that flowed by Tell el-Borg. The balance of the work deals with specialty reports, including the faunal and botanical remains, the clay coffins, and elite stones. A concluding chapter offers a synthesis of the decade of work and ties together the finds published in both volumes.

James K. Hoffmeier is Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

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Early Bronze IV Village Life in the Jordan Valley. Excavations at Tell Abu en-Niaj and Dhahret Umm el-Marar, Jordan
Falconer, Steven E., and Patricia L. Fall, Early Bronze IV Village Life in the Jordan Valley. Excavations at Tell Abu en-Niaj and Dhahret Umm el-Marar, Jordan (Oxford, UK, BAR Publishing, 2019), pp. 204.Abstract

Additional contributions by Ilya Berelov and Steven Porson

The archaeological excavation of Tell Abu en-Ni‘aj provides the foundation for an unprecedented analysis of agrarian village life during an era of the Levantine Bronze Age characterised previously in terms of urban collapse and a reversion to mobile pastoralism. Interpretation of archaeological and ecological evidence here situates the lifeways of this community amid emerging revised chronologies and reconstructions of village-based society in the third millennium BC. This reconstruction of rural life integrates evidence of regional and local environmental change, agricultural coping strategies, intramural social change, interaction with neighbouring communities and ritual ties with preceding and subsequent periods. This synthesis centred on Tell Abu en-Ni‘aj suggests a strikingly revised portrait of rural society in the course of Near Eastern civilisation.

Steve Falconer (PhD, Anthropology, University of Arizona) has practised anthropological archaeology at New York University, Arizona State University, LaTrobe University and the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He co-directed (with P. Fall) the excavation and analysis of Tell el-Hayyat, Tell Abu en-Ni‘aj, Dhahret Umm el-Marar and Zahrat adh-Dhra‘ 1 along the Jordan Rift, and Politiko-Troullia on Cyprus.

Pat Fall (PhD, Geosciences, University of Arizona) is a geoscientist and biogeographer who has investigated ancient agrarian life and landscape formation in the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea Basin, Cyprus, the Bahamas, Tonga and Samoa. She has served on the faculties of New York University, Arizona State University, La Trobe University and the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

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‘The quality of data presentation … is excellent. … [T]his data set represents what may perhaps be the most complete and comprehensive publication of this type of data for the EB IV and is exceptionally valuable for scholars working in this area. … [T]he authors do more than simply present the final results of their excavations; instead they provide thorough analysis and provide contextualization for these results.’ Prof. Susan Cohen, Montana State University

‘This research certainly has potential ramifications beyond the scope of the Southern Levant. … The discussions of methodologies employed for coping with environment might have interesting ramifications for present-day concerns re. climate change.’ Dr Stefan L. Smith, Ghent University

‘The data presented are of immense value, not only for a better understanding of the settlement history of the region, but also for a broader understanding of human adaptation in times of environmental change.’ Dr Hermann Genz, American University of Beirut

‘Highly original and deals with contemporary Levantine archaeological problems. … Although the excavation took place several decades ago, the authors are on top of the latest chronological debates in the field. … This is an excellent volume.’ Prof. Thomas E. Levy, University of California, San Diego


Lapithos Vrysi tou Barba, Cyprus. Early and Middle Bronze Age Tombs Excavated by Menelaos Markides
Webb, Jennifer M. Lapithos Vrysi tou Barba, Cyprus. Early and Middle Bronze Age Tombs Excavated by Menelaos Markides (Nicosia, Cyprus, Astrom Editions : Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology Vol. CXLVIII, 2018).Abstract

with contributions by Andreas Charalambous, Stella Diakou, Maria Dikomitou-Eliadou, Marcos Martinón-Torres and Despina Pilides

This volume is the full publication of eighteen Early and Middle Bronze Age tombs excavated in the extensive  Vrysi tou Barba cemetery at Lapithos on the north coast of Cyprus in 1917 by Menelaos Markides, the first Curator of the Cyprus Museum. Based on archival records, museum inventories and the finds, most of which could still be identified in the Cyprus Museum, it presents a full description of each tomb and its contents, with tomb plans, drawings and colour photographs of all objects; as well as a detailed account of the excavations, of the tombs and their assemblages and of the site of Lapithos in their wider archaeological context. In addition, it contains chapters on Markides (by Despina Pilides), the location of the tombs (by Stella Diakou and Jennifer Webb), portable X-ray Fluorescence analysis of the ceramics (by Maria Dikomitou-Eliadou and Marcos Martinón-Torres) and the chemical characterisation of the copper alloy artefacts (by Andreas Charalambous).

The volume almost doubles the number of fully published tombs from the Vrysi tou Barba cemetery and makes an important contribution to our understanding of one of the largest and most important Middle Bronze Age settlements on Cyprus. It is the first of a number of volumes which aim to fully document over 60 previously unpublished tombs excavated at Lapithos in 1913 and 1917.

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Giza. Eastern Necropolis IV
Kormysheva, Eleonora, Svetlana Malykh, Maksim Lebedev, and Sergey Vetokhov, Giza. Eastern Necropolis IV (Moscow, Russian Academy of Sciences – Institute of Oriental Studies, 2018).Abstract

The tombs of Perseneb (LG 78 / GE 20–22), Ipy (LG 80 / GE 24), and anonymous tombs GE 23, 40, and 56-58.

With contributions by Maria Dobrovolskaya, Maria Mednikova, Irina Reshetova, Elena Dobrovolskaya, Elena Lebedeva, Alexey Sergeev, Natalia Sinitsyna, Olesya Popova, Valeria Kuvatova, and Annie Schweitzer.


The rock-cut tombs published in this volume include two monuments with epigraphic an iconographic materials, the tombs of Perseneb (LG 78 / GE 20–22) and Ipy (LG 80 / GE 24), and anonymous structures clustered around.

The tombs of Perseneb and Ipy were explored in the 19th century by G.B. Caviglia, J.-F. Champollion, K.R. Lepsius, and A. Mariette. K.R. Lepsius assigned both tombs his own numbers: LG 78 for the tomb of Perseneb and LG 80 for the tomb of Ipy. Under these numbers, the tombs were scarcely mentioned in Egyptological literature. However, there has never been an extensive study of the architecture and decoration of these tombs; the shafts and the burial chambers have long remained unexcavated.

The tombs of Perseneb and Ipy are considered nucleus tombs for two rock-cut complexes, situated at a distance of approximately 30 meters. These tombs were surrounded by other minor burial structures that were later cut and have no preserved texts or representations. In addition to the tomb of Perseneb (LG 78 / GE 20–22), the northern rock-cut complex included tombs GE 23, GE 58, and GE 40. The southern complex included the tomb of Ipy (LG 80 / GE 24), GE 56, and GE 57.

The published tombs are located in the southern part of the area investigated by the Russian Archaeological Mission at Giza (Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences), in the rock massif of Sen el-Agouz. The massif is the outcrop of the Mukattam limestone formation characterized by the alternation of different geological strata from solid rock to loose limestone and tafla. The rock chapels of the eastern edge of the plateau followed the existing geological strata and formed a terraced monumental landscape typical of Giza.

The tomb of Perseneb as well as anonymous tombs GE 23, GE 40, and GE 58 were cut in the upper part of the cliff; the tomb of Ipy and tombs GE 56 and GE 57 are situated close to the wall that separates the Giza Necropolis from the village of Nazlet el-Samman. The monuments are located about 300 m to the east of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, their local coordinate values are as follows: East 500.427 – East 500.447 and North 99.730 – North 99.776.

The presented rock-cut complexes developed in close connection to each other regarding both architecture and their history of use. The tombs are marked on the general plan of the area and published under the field numbers of the Russian Archaeological Mission.

As is usual in this part of the Giza Necropolis, a serious challenge for the team was the significant degree of destruction of the tombs presented in this publication. The destruction was caused by both natural processes and human factors, which included contemporary Old Kingdom innovations, ancient and medieval destruction, and later developments connected to occupational activities.

The structure of the volume implies a combination of the publication of new material followed by more detailed excursuses on different aspects of Egyptian culture touched on by the newly published material. The publication of the burial complexes follows the same structure as in previous volumes: architecture, archaeological context, epigraphy, ceramic material, and other finds.

The main text of the volume is supplemented by excursuses. The first two excursuses are devoted to a comparative analysis of scenes with lotus flowers and musicians, which reflected the idea of communication between two worlds. Additional excursuses are devoted to analyzing the meaning of the feast of Khufu attested in the tomb of Perseneb, and the characteristic features of the iconography of the mummy cartonnage of the Ptolemaic Period found in the same tomb.

Photos for the publication were made by all the authors; plans and sections of the tombs were executed by Sergey Vetokhov; tracings of the reliefs and inscriptions, drawings of the stratigraphy, and plans of burials were prepared by Maksim Lebedev; drawings of pottery were made by Svetlana Malykh; reconstruction of mummy cartonnage was executed by Valeria Kuvatova, drawings of finds were prepared by Oksana Nosova and Maksim Lebedev.


Excavations at Dor, Final Report. Directed by Ephraim Stern (1986–2000) & Ilan Sharon and Ayelet Gilboa (2002–2004).
Sharon, Ilan, Ayelet Gilboa, Jeffrey R. Zorn, and Sveta Matskevitch, Excavations at Dor, Final Report. Directed by Ephraim Stern (1986–2000) & Ilan Sharon and Ayelet Gilboa (2002–2004). (Qedem Reports 10-12; The Institute of Archaeology – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in cooperation with The Israel Exploration Society, 2018).Abstract

Vol. IIA: Area G, The Late Bronze and Iron Ages:
Synthesis, Architecture, and Stratigraphy

(Qedem Reports 10)
With contributions by: John E. Berg, Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, Allen Estes

Vol. IIB: Pottery, Artifacts, Ecofacts, and Other Studies (Qedem Reports 11)
With contributions by:
Daniella E. Bar-Yosef Mayer, László Bartosiewicz, Hagar Ben Basat, John E. Berg,Elisabetta Boaretto, Adi Eliyahu-Behar, Marina Faerman, Christian Herrmann,Tzipi Kahana, Othmar Keel, Elicia Lisk, Stefan Münger, Yossi Salmon, Irina Segal, Sariel Shalev, Sana Shilstein, Patricia Smith, Ragna Stidsing, Philipp W. Stockhammer, Yana Vitalkov, Naama Yahalom-Mack and Irit Zohar

Vol. IIC: Pottery Plates and Index of Loci (Qedem Reports 12)

From 1986 to 2000 excavations in Area G at Tel Dor, on the coast of Israel, were conducted under the general direction of Ephraim Stern of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with additional work carried out in 2002 and 2004 under the direction of Ilan Sharon of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ayelet Gilboa of the University of Haifa. Excavations in Area G, in the center of the mound, revealed an occupational history stretching from the Roman period back to the end of the Late Bronze Age, spanning a period of 1450 years from ca. 1250 BCE to ca. 200 CE. The occupational phases in this report include (according to the Dor chronological system) G/5 of Ir2c , G/6a of early Ir2a, G/6b–c and G/7a–b of Ir1|2, G/7c–d or Ir1b, G/8 of Ir1a|b, G/9a–b of Ir1a late, G/10a–c of Ir1a early, G/11–12 of LBIIB.


Remains of G/5 from the end of the Iron Age were poorly preserved due to later Persian period pitting (G/4) and subsequent leveling and construction activities in the Hellenistic to Roman periods (G3/–G1) but contained remains suggestive of the period of Assyrian domination at Dor. The major constructional episode (G/6–G/9) represents a continual rebuilding of walls and a raising of floor levels over a period of 200 or more years in a large courtyard house. The continuity in the architectural remains is mirrored in the gradual evolution of the local pottery, from typical Canaanite pottery of the Late Bronze Age to Phoenician Iron Age types. G/9 ended with a massive destruction and preserved many in situ remains. Among the significant discoveries of these three phases were: in G/9, a courtyard apparently used for the processing of grains along with evidence for activities on a second story, in G/8a cult deposit and in G/7 the skeleton of a woman who died as a result of a wall collapse. Phase G/10 represents a copper/bronze metallurgical center, as attested by finds of crucibles, prills, a furnace, bellows pot, firing pits and a buildup of multiple ashy lenses. Only small areas of Phases G/11, and especially G/12, were exposed but are suggestive of the dumping of wastes associated with metallurgical activities. Despite the limited exposure, several typological horizons within the LBIIB were discerned, the latest of which (within stratigraphic Phase 11) exhibits a terminal Late Bronze phase, in which most of the Aegean type-wares are of Cypriot provenience. Dor’s international connections are attested by the afore-mentioned Aegean-type pottery in G12 and G/11, and from G/10 to G/6a by Egyptian-style storage jars made of Nile clays and by Iron Age Cypriot imports of CGI–II. These final report volumes covering the Bronze and Iron Ages at Tel Dor, Area G, thus provide new data on the development of an important southern Phoenician city.

The three volumes on the Bronze and Iron Age excavations in Area G are the second set of final report publication from Tel Dor. The final report on the Persian to Roman period remains from Area G is in an advanced stage of preparation.


Ancient Jaffa from the Persian to the Byzantine Period. Kaplan Excavations (1955–1981)
Tsuf, Orit, Ancient Jaffa from the Persian to the Byzantine Period. Kaplan Excavations (1955–1981) (Zaphon - Studien zu Geschichte, Kultur und Religion Ägyptens und des Alten Testaments Band 89, 2018), pp. 640 + XVI.Abstract

The Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project Series, Volume 3 – Aaron A. Burke and Martin Peilstöcker, Series Editors.

With contributions by Yonatan Adler, David Amit, Etan Ayalon,
Avner Ecker, Adi Erlich, Peter Gendelman, Ruth E. Jackson-Tal, and Kate Raphael

The present investigation of Jaffa’s archaeological remains is based on Kaplan’s excavations, which were conducted from 1955 to 1974. The focus of the present research is the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine archaeological remains of the port city of Jaffa. The Abu Kabir cemetery of Jaffa is also discussed in the Appendix. The archaeological remains from the Middle Bronze Age to Iron Age will be studied in detail by Aaron Burke and Martin Peilstöcker.

During their lifetime, the Kaplan couple published preliminary reports of the excavations. In addition, they published the most significant artifacts, with a direct or indirect connection to historical events (Kaplan 1980/1; Kaplan 1964a; Ritter Kaplan 1982). However, over the past century, several studies have been published. All of them dealt with the historical and political background of Jaffa during the time of the Hasmonean Wars and the Great Revolt. Most of them were based on written historical (Tolkowsky 1928; Radan 1988) and epigraphic sources (Applebaum 1985; Kindler 1954; Lupu 2003; Price 2003). At this point, before proceeding and conducting additional excavations and studies of the remains of Persian to Byzantine periods of Jaffa, it is essential to reconstruct the material culture framework as part of the historical background of the site.

Kaplan left behind an extremely rich assemblage of diverse finds. Some of the artifacts are on display in the Old Jaffa Museum.* The overwhelming majority of the finds were, however, left in the storerooms of the Old Jaffa Museum awaiting final publication. To this day, no complete study has been undertaken of Jaffa’s archaeological remains that were excavated by Kaplan. The enormous quantity of objects and finds are of immeasurable importance and are the fundamental basis of the present research. The creation of a complete and comprehensive picture of Jaffa’s finds will provide a framework for a deeper understanding of the cultural background of Jaffa’s history. For example, the classification of the pottery assemblage and the identification of the “Judean Pottery” from the dwelling house in Area C enables an understanding of Jaffa’s Jewish inhabitants and their relations with Jerusalem during and after the destruction of the Second Temple (a full discussion is given in Tsuf 2011:271–290).

Under normal circumstances, namely, with the preservation of all documentation, it might have been possible to arrive at a vivid picture of Jaffa as a port city from the Persian to the Byzantine periods. Unfortunately, the surviving evidence and the available written documentation complicated the current study more than I had first anticipated. The finds are, indeed, diverse and plentiful. However, no written documentation of the most important and longest seasons of excavations has surfaced. For example, the documentation of the 1955 to 1958 excavation seasons in Area A as well as the 1961 season in Area C is limited in nature. Yet both were the main excavated areas and revealed the most significant discoveries in Jaffa. In Area A these included Jaffa’s Late Bronze Age Egyptian fortress, the city gate, in addition to Persian and Hellenistic fortifications. In Area C the remains of a Roman period Jewish dwelling were discovered. For both areas, A and C, we lack the diaries and notebooks from the excavation seasons (except for the Area C 1965 diaries) and possess only a few sketches, preliminary area plans, and pottery bucket information. For this reason, after an initial examination of the materials, I realized that the crucial architectural features lacked clear and reliable documentation.

Because of this unfortunate situation, and in order to achieve the best results, I chose to redefine the approach to this project. My first goal was to reconstruct the stratigraphy of the areas according to the best available documentation. I soon realized that in order to avoid a recourse to speculation for the areas that lack critical documentation, I should divide the areas into two categories: areas that were documented in the diaries, and Areas A and C that lack documentation particularly in the diaries. Part I of the study presents a reconstruction of the architectural phasing, which has survived in the documentation in direct relation to the in situ finds, as well as a reconstruction of the two main excavation areas, A and C. The comparative discussions are based on the surviving documentation and finds that are presented in Part I and in the catalogues in Part II.

My second but no less important goal was to create a full picture of Jaffa’s material culture from the Persian to the Byzantine periods. Part II is devoted to the presentation of the complete corpus of Jaffa’s finds according to a combined chronological-typological approach. This part presents the material finds discovered in Jaffa during the Kaplan excavations (1955–1982) (see Table 1.1). Recently more documents of Kaplan’s excavations in Jaffa and elsewhere were found. These documents, which include diaries, plans and illustrations, were found stored at his residence. Unfortunately, the new discoveries are not included in this work, since they were not available to me during the time this research was conducted. However, it encourages me to go on and continue my research in the future.

* The museum is currently under the supervision of the Old Jaffa Development Corporation.

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A banchetto con gli eroi. La mobilia in avorio dalla Casa Quadrata a Nisa Partica
Manassero, Niccolò, A banchetto con gli eroi. La mobilia in avorio dalla Casa Quadrata a Nisa Partica (Alessandria IT, Edizioni dell'Orso, 2018), pp. 211.Abstract

With contributions by Giorgio Affani and Carlo Lippolis

In 1948, the Soviet Expedition JuTAKE excavated the building called the ‘Square House’ at the Parthian site of Mithridatkert, known from ancient sources as Nisa, the alleged site of the graves of Parthian kings. Among the precious objects unearthed in this royal treasury, was a large inventory of ivory artefacts. Of these, the famous rhytons, masterpieces of Hellenistic art, were carefully restored and studied, while some 40 pieces of furniture were restored only in part and preliminarily published.

A thorough discussion and extensive publication of these findings has been undertaken by the author of this book. In 2013, in fact, thanks to support from the Shelby White & Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications, the National Museum of Ashgabat was able to conduct a careful investigation of the materials and prepare a complete set of photos and drawings in order to give this material the recognition it deserved within Western scholarship.

Through careful consideration of the quantity, shape and size of each item, the author suggests a possible reconstruction of the furniture that lay buried in the Square House, and highlights its ideological and symbolical meaning within the historical framework of the Parthian Empire.

The main information that emerges from the investigation at the Ashgabat Museum is that at least a part of the ivory used for the furniture items comes from African elephants, as their diameter exceeds 11 cms, namely the maximum size of the items carved from Indian ivory, according to A. Cutler. Moreover, the most part of the rhytons reach diameters (often up to 16.5 cms) that are undoubtedly related to African elephants.

The furniture lot is made of items of big size (considerably larger than the Pompei samples, for instance), and its arrangement is strange, as the complete set of four legs of no piece of furniture has ever been found. It comprises complete and incomplete items, and restored ones; very few legs find their match within the inventory, having different sizes and technical features, so the minimum number of couches and chairs rises to 10 at least, not 3 like supposed by the former publisher, G. Pugachenkova. The furniture items were probably stocked in the Square House after being used for some time, and some incomplete items were brought there from the workshops that were providing new ones. Nothing leads to suppose that the ivory inventory might come from a booty (as suggested by P. Bernard), on the contrary there’s solid base to think that they were produced in Nisa itself by specialized craftsmen working on commission for the Arsacid court: the unbaked clay statues were obviously made at Nisa, and recent works in the SW Building brought to light tracks of a workshop producing big size statues of horses, witnessed by plaster casts. In sum, there are many proofs of craftsmen working at Nisa on commission, perfectly mastering the Greek formal vocabulary, and there’s no need to search elsewhere the workshops that produced the ivory artefacts as well.

The idea proposed by the author of the book is that the Square House hosted sacred banquets for the dead king, on which occasion he was celebrated as hero and entered the gods’ sphere. The cult models are the Greek theoxenia and the Roman lectisternia and sellisternia, namely banquets where empty beds or chairs were supposed to host the invited gods, mostly the Dioscuroi and Herakles, and the deified Roman emperor.

This study concludes the systematic review to which the Italian Archaeological Mission has subjected the main groups of findings brought to light in that building. Here we present the precise publication of the lot of ivories: parts of chairs, thrones, beds and perhaps other furnishings, ranging in size from 5 to 70 cm in length, mainly worked on the lathe, almost completely devoid of figurative decorations. These are materials known to the scientific community for over 60 years, never properly published excluding a single short article in Russian language dated 1969. In addition to a substantial part of the catalog, the book is composed of some chapters that discuss historical and archaeological questions the material under examination, and a reasoned discussion of the morphological characteristics of the finds, aimed at understanding the categories of furniture to which these objects belonged originally, and the opportunities and contexts in which they could be employed. The conclusions reached document the extraordinary vitality and originality of the life of the Arsacid citadel, and its role not only of ceremonial center and core of elaboration of the characters of the royal ideology, but also of place of production of works of art and handicrafts that of this ideology they had to express and spread the images.

Niccolò Manassero is an archaeologist specialized in the study of Central Asia in the pre-Islamic era. He has published a monograph, Rhyta and horns from the Iron Age at the Sassanid era. Pure libations and mysticism between Greece and the Iranian world (Oxford 2008), and more than 20 articles in international specialist journals, always aimed at examining the hybrid manifestations of civilization and art to which gave life to the dialogue between the Greek and Iranian world following the expedition of Alexander the Great.

Decorated Pottery in Cyprus and Philistia in the 12th Century BC: Cypriot IIIC and Philistine IIIC, Vols. I&II
Mountjoy, Penelope, Decorated Pottery in Cyprus and Philistia in the 12th Century BC: Cypriot IIIC and Philistine IIIC, Vols. I&II (Austrian Academy of Sciences : Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean Volume XXXVI, 2018), pp. Vol.I: 681; Vol.II: 606.Abstract

The book comprises a study of the 12th century BC Aegean-style pottery from all the main Cypriot sites together with the contemporary Aegean-style pottery from the three excavated Philistine sites of Ekron, Ashkelon and Ashdod. As part of the project Neutron Activation Analysis of pottery from ten of the Cypriot sites has been carried out in Bonn to obtain the chemical profile of each site, thus enabling movement of pottery round the island to be recorded and contacts between specific Cypriot sites and the Near East to be highlighted.

The book presents in full detail the latest information from both excavation and study concerning a key period in the history of the Eastern Mediterranean region. The relevant stratigraphy at each site is discussed and documented with plans and sections, and the pottery comprehensively illustrated with line drawings. Unlimited access, courtesy of the excavators, to the contemporary Aegean-style pottery from the three Philistine sites adds another dimension to the study. Much of the material is new. Both new and old material is presented in a rational and organised fashion which will facilitate its use. It comprises unique material which has frequently been erroneously cited in support of the various theories put forward for the collapse of the Bronze Age cultures of the region. This comprehensive exposition of the evidence in a clear and rational format will form the foundation for real progress in our understanding of this complex and intriguing period. The book is an essential source volume for those working in the region.

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Mégara Hyblaea 7. La Ville Classique, Hellenistic et Romaine
Tréziny, Henri, Mégara Hyblaea 7. La Ville Classique, Hellenistic et Romaine (Ecole Française de Rome, 2018), pp. 518.Abstract

With contributions by Frédéric Mège

Mégara Hyblaea 7. The Classical, Hellenistic and Roman City is essentially the publication of excavations conducted by François Villard and Georges Vallet between 1949 and 1975. The attention of the excavators focuses on the archaic agora, as recent levels have been less studied, with the exception of the Hellenistic temple (Megara Hyblaea 4, 1966). The current study is based on a re-examination of archive data as well as on a systematic re-reading of visible remains, accompanied by some cleanings and control surveys. The stratigraphic record is therefore limited and the chronology difficult to fix in detail. However, significant changes are proposed in the relative and absolute dating of many monuments (temple, fortification, baths). Most of the vestiges commented on in this book relate to the 3rd century BC and the reign of Hieron II, but the importance of the classical era and the reoccupation of Roman times, hitherto unrecognized, was soon realized - hence the broader title given. The book is therefore the continuation of Megara 5, but especially as the prerequisite for a resumption of modern excavations on the post-archaic levels of Mégara Hyblaea.

Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece
Papathanasiou, Anastasia, W.A. Parkinson, D.J. Pullen, M.L. Galaty, and P. Karkanas, ed. Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece (Oxford UK, Oxbow, 2018), pp. 435+xviv+32 color plates.Abstract

In Honor of George Papathanassopoulos

Alepotrypa Cave at Diros Bay, Lakonia, Greece, is a 300 meters complex of consecutive chambers ending at a lake. It is one of the richest archaeological sites in Greece and Europe in terms of abundance, preservation and variability of artifacts, volume and temporal range of undisturbed deposits, as well as horizontal exposure of archaeological surfaces. The cave was excavated by G. Papathanassopoulos from 1970 to 2006. It is dated from 6,000 to 3,200 BC and was used, in conjunction with the surrounding area, as a complementary habitation area, a burial site, and a place for ceremonial activity. This edited volume is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary study and interpretation of the unpublished results of approximately 40 years of excavation and analysis of the cave in one book. This contribution is essential to ongoing Neolithic research in Greece, but also in Anatolia, the Balkans and Europe, as it brings a comprehensive picture of a unique site to the attention of the archaeological community.

The book, which contains 23 chapters, starts with a presentation of the history of the excavations, an extensive description of the site, and its cultural and temporal positioning through a long series of radiocarbon dates, in association with the corresponding microstratigraphic, stratigraphic and ceramic sequence and also includes: a) the site formation processes, and the refinement of the stratigraphy of the cave deposits; b) the pottery and its spatial and temporal patterning, typology and technology; c) the stone and bone tools and objects, and their spatial patterning, typology and technology; d) numerous macroscopic, microscopic and isotopic chemical analyses of human, faunal, botanical and inorganic remains; and e) the environmental reconstruction of the area, and the results from the regional survey of the surrounding area. The volume concludes with a synthetic chapter that summarizes, combines and interprets all the aforementioned evidence, clarifies the actions implied by the observed materials, defines the particularities of the site and positions the cave in its broader natural and cultural web. All presentations include meaningful comparisons through time and across space within Alepotrypa Cave, as well as comparisons with other Greek Neolithic or European and Anatolian Neolithic societies. General questions that were addressed include: refinement of the Neolithic Aegean artifact chronology and typology; tool technologies; long-distance trade of raw materials and pottery; dispersal of communities and cave use in the Final Neolithic; permanent versus seasonal habitation/use of a site; site formation processes and hiatuses in caves; population health, movement, and biodistance; mortuary space and practice; expressions of ritual; the notions of continuity and monumentality, and of stability, definition and redefinition; the importance of terrestrial versus marine resources, as well as domesticated versus wild resources. Mortuary behavior, artifactual patterning and human skeletal remains are used to draw conclusions concerning social, cultural and biological conditions and to evaluate patterns of ceremonialism, including the fragmentation and dispersal of material in conjunction with mortuary data.

An article from National Geographic on the excavations may be found HERE

View or download the table of contents and front materials HERE

Jacob Kaplan's Excavations of Protohistoric Sites 1950s—1980s Vols. I&II
Gopher, Avi, Ram Gophna, Ruth Eyal, and Yitzhak Paz, Jacob Kaplan's Excavations of Protohistoric Sites 1950s—1980s Vols. I&II (Eisenbrauns / Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology : ©Tel Aviv University - Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology Monograph Series Number 36, 2017), pp. 714.Abstract

With contributions by Hay Ashkenazi, Eliot Braun, Anna Eirikh-Rose, Rinat Favis, Yosef Garfinkel, David Gersht, Talia Goldman, Jacob Kaplan, Liora Kolska Horwitz, Ofer Marder, Zinovi Matskevich, Danny Rosenberg, Moshe Sade, Haward Smithline, Katharina Streit, Eli Yannai and Dmitry Yegorov


Jacob Kaplan was a dynamic field archaeologist and an original researcher of the Pottery Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods in the Levant who was not accepted by the mainstream scholarly community of his time. Today we know that he played an important role in shaping the archaeological sequence of the late prehistory of Israel. His groundbreaking achievement in the early 1950s was the discovery and definition of the Wadi Rabah culture — a major entity in the late Pottery Neolithic period. On a broader scale, Kaplan incorporated the Pottery Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods of Israel into the sequences of the late prehistory of the Levant and touched, even if indirectly, on the question of the end of the Neolithic period — one of the most intensive, creative and transformative eras in human history.

In Jacob Kaplan's Excavations of Protohistoric Sites 1950s—1980s, the authors present some of Kaplan's unpublished field work. They also offer a broad canvas of the thoughts, theories and considerations that placed Kaplan in the forefront of Israeli archaeology of his time. His views on some of the basic crono-cultural issues of the Pottery Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods endure to this very day. This book accords Kaplan the full recognition he deserves as an original, leading researcher of the late prehistory of Israel.

Alassa. Excavations at the Late Bronze Age Sites of Pano Mantilaris and Paliotaverna 1984 – 2000
Hadjisavvas, Sophocles, Alassa. Excavations at the Late Bronze Age Sites of Pano Mantilaris and Paliotaverna 1984 – 2000 (Lefkosia, Cyprus Department of Antiquities, 2017), pp. 669 + xxiv.Abstract

With contributions by Priscilla Keswani and Ariane Jacobs

During the Late Bronze Age a number of important towns with diverse elite and public architectural complexes developed in Cyprus in conjunction with the expansion of the local copper industry and the intensification of external trade.  One of the most impressive centers of this era is the site of Alassa, located 34,758° North, 32,922° East, set on a triangular plateau in the Troodos foothills of southwestern Cyprus. At the locality Paliotaverna on the upper part of the plateau, excavations uncovered a group of three large ashlar buildings, one of which contained a wine press, the only one thus far discovered from this period. At the locality Pano Mantilaris 250 m to the southeast, settlement remains revealed evidence for metalworking in the midst of domestic and ritual activities. Alassa's far-flung international connections are attested by the Aegean characteristics discernible in its monumental architecture, the presence of imported and Aegean-inspired pottery, the Mycenaean and Syrian influences apparent in the pithos seal impressions, and the occurrence of tomb goods made from imported materials such as gold and chlorite.

It is probable that Alassa was the seat of a regional polity that controlled the adjacent copper-producing areas of the Troodos to the north, along with a series of settlements extending 10 km south to Episkopi Bamboula and the coast near ancient Kourion. In addition to metallurgical and trading pursuits, members of the ruling elite at Paliotaverna also engaged in wine production and the collection and storage of agricultural products, possibly for the purposes of staple finance (redistribution) and/or ceremonial feasting. These activities may have supported and legitimized their control over local economic resources and labor.

This final report on the 1984–2000 investigations at Alassa begins with the presentation of the rescue excavations of the settlement (Chapter 2) and tombs (Chapter 3) at Pano Mantilaris. This is followed by the account of the elite architecture and associated finds uncovered at Paliotaverna (Chapter 4) and a detailed description and discussion of the remarkable seal impressions found on many of the Alassa pithoi (Chapter 5). In-depth studies of the Alassa pithoi and all of the other pottery found at the site are presented in Chapters 6 and 7 by Priscilla Keswani and Ariane Jacobs, respectively. Reports by other specialists on a variety of topics may be found in the 10 appendices: the cylinder and stamp seals (Aruz), metallurgical finds (Kassianidou and Van-Brempt), marked pottery (Hirschfeld), C14 dates (Manning), human remains (Lorentz), faunal remains (Croft), coins (Destrooper), ground stone objects (Souter), and archaeometric studies of the pithoi (Nodarou) and other pottery (Jacobs et al.). The results from all of these studies are integrated within the conclusions that the author offers in Chapter 8 regarding the chronology and importance of Alassa within the broader cultural and sociopolitical context of LBA Cyprus. 


Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem Vol. VII. Conducted by Nahman Avigad, 1969-1982. Areas Q, H, O-2, and Other Studies
Geva, Hillel, Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem Vol. VII. Conducted by Nahman Avigad, 1969-1982. Areas Q, H, O-2, and Other Studies (Israel Exploration Society, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2017), pp. 368.Abstract

with contributions by N. Amitati-Preiss, D.T. Ariel, A. Ben Haim, D. Ben-Shlomo, N. Brosh, A. de Vincenz, E. Eshel, A. Grossberg, L. Habas, Y. Israeli, J. Magness, H.K. Mienis, R. Nenner-Soriano, R. Palistrant Shaick, O. Peleg-Barkat, R. Rosenthal-Heginbottom, R. Talgam, I. Yezerski

From 1969 to 1982 extensive archaeological excavations were conducted in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem under the direction of the late Professor Nahman Avigad on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel Exploration Society, and the Department of Antiquities (now the Israel Antiquitites Authority). During these excavations remains of fortifications, public buildings, and domestic dwellings were found, as well as numerous artifacts from all periods of the continuous settlement of this area, dated from the end of the First Temple period through the Ottoman period.

Among the major discoveries made during the Jewish Quarter Excavations are fortifications, including the northern portion of the First Wall; luxurious residences of the Upper City of Jerusalem dated to the late Second Temple period, including the Palatial Mansion; the Cardo and the Nea Church of the Byzantine period; a bazaar dated to the Crusader period; and portions of the southern fortifications of the Islamic-period city. These and other finds from the Excavations in the Jewish Quarter have changed many long-accepted ideas regarding the size and topography of ancient Jerusalem.

This volume is the seventh of the final reports of the excavations in the Jewish Quarter. It presents the finds from Area Q, H and O-2, including architectural remians and small finds. These range in date from the end of the Second Temple (Herodian) period to the Byzantine period. The most significant are the remains of a large public Miqweh with surrounding staircases on all four sides, fragments of monumental columns, and part of an elaborate dwelling with decorated mosaic floor. The volume also includes various studies on other finds. These are in addition to and supplement the many important finds published in previous volumes of the Jewish Quarter publications.

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Parian Polyandreia
Agelarakis, Anagnostis, Parian Polyandreia (Oxford, UK, Archaeopress, 2017), pp. 396.Abstract

The Late Geometric Funerary Legacy of Cremated Soldiers' Bones on Socio-Political Affairs and Military Organizational Preparedness in Ancient Greece

The anthropological study of two late 8th century BC monumental graves, designated as T144 and T105, at the ancient necropolis of Paroikia at Paros, initially intended to investigate inter-island features of the human condition, observable as ingrained traces in the human skeletal record, as it may have related to the Parian endeavors in the northern Aegean for the colonization of Thasos.

Through the 'Paros Polyandreia Anthropological Project,' it was possible to retrieve insights into aspects of the human environments and experiences that had transpired in a Parian context, elucidated by a considerable population sample of cremated male individuals, transcending to broader features that would have involved Thasos; discerning further facets of the human condition during the Late Geometric to the Early Archaic periods in the ancient Hellenic world.

This book integrates the basic anthropological data, evaluations and assessments derived from the study of the human skeletal record of Polyandreia T144 and T105. Bioarchaeological and forensic anthropological research results include the morphometric analyses of biological developmental growth and variability in relation to manifestations of acquired skeleto-anatomic changes, along with inquiries into the demographic dynamics, and the palaeopathologic profile of the individuals involved. Such intra-site data juxtaposed afforded the possibility to deliberate on issues of the preparedness, intended purpose, function, and symbolic meaning of the funerary activity areas and to reflect on the organizational abilities and capacities of the political and military affairs of the Parians.

Moreover, inter-site evaluations where relative with the burial grounds of Orthi Petra of Eleutherna-Crete, Plithos of Naxos, Athenian Demosion Sema, Pythagoreion of Samos, and Rhodes offer comparisons on taphonomy, on cremated materials' metric analyses, and on aspects of the funerary customs and practices in the interring of cremated war dead.

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Predynastic Maadi in Context. The Research of the Italian Expedition Revisited (1977-1986)
Bajeot, Jade, Predynastic Maadi in Context. The Research of the Italian Expedition Revisited (1977-1986) ("Sapienza" Università di Roma - Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità : Studi di Preistoria Orientale (SPO) #4, 2017), pp. 302.Abstract

With contributions by R.T.J. Cappers, S. Drudi, M. Gleba, A. Hauptmann, G. Siracusano, and D. Zampetti.

Between 1977 and 1986 an Italian expedition from the Sapienza University of Rome carried out six archaeological campaigns in the well-known Predynastic site of Maadi (4th mill. B.C.). The investigation, conducted by the Missione Italiana per le Ricerche Preistoriche in Egitto e Sudan (MIRPES) under the direction of S. M. Puglisi and A. Palmieri, covered an area of around 450m2 and was located in the eastern part of the ancient settlement, diametrically opposite to the more recent diggings carried out by the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.
This publication is the result of the elaboration of the unpublished data collected during these campaigns and is conceived as an excavation report. In particular it was possible to deepen the stratigraphic aspect which was fundamental for understanding the dynamics of formation and development of the settlement and this allowed us to complete the information contained in past monographs dealing with the first excavations carried out at Maadi. Finally we also could study for the first time the artefacts in a chronological perspective and to reconsider this site in the light of the latest research made in the Nile Delta.

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Bet Yeraḥ Vol. III. Hellenistic Philoteria and Islamic al-Sinnabra. The 1933-1986 and 2007-2013 Excavations
Greenberg, Raphael, Oren Tal, and Tawfiq Da'adli, Bet Yeraḥ Vol. III. Hellenistic Philoteria and Islamic al-Sinnabra. The 1933-1986 and 2007-2013 Excavations (Jerusalem, Israel Antiquities Authority Reports #61, 2017), pp. 234.Abstract

This, the third and final volume of reports dedicated to the publication of the 1933–1986 excavations at Khirbat al-Karak (Kh. Kerak)/Tel Bet Yeraḥ, describes the contiguous Hellenistic and Early Islamic remains excavated in the northern and southern parts of the site. These form an important component in the history of occupation on the mound and make a significant contribution to the archaeology of both periods. Their identification at the site in fact predates that of the Bronze Age remains: Eleazar Sukenik, who was asked to visit the road cut through ‘the Kerak’ in 1921, was the first to note their existence (Sukenik 1922), and the first to posit the identification of the site with Philoteria (see Chapter 2).

Substantial Hellenistic remains have been found, by several excavators, in virtually every part of the mound (Plan 1.1; Tables 1.1, 1.2): in all the areas excavated along its southern side (Areas BS, MS/EY, MK, GE), along considerable parts of the last Early Bronze Age fortification line (Wall C, principally in Towers 5, 8, 11 and 14 and near the ‘sortie tunnel’ [C10]) and in the various excavations of the northern sector (Areas GB, DK). In the central part of the mound, evidence is spotty, with the more substantial remains in Areas AC and BH, pits only in Areas UN and RV, and few finds reported in soundings undertaken by Delougaz and Haines in the western part of the mound. This distribution might indicate a bimodal concentration of houses on the two higher portions of the mound in the north and south, with the intervening saddle being, perhaps, only sporadically occupied (Table 1.2).

Earlier considerations of Hellenistic Philoteria, based for the most part on the sketchy preliminary publications of the excavation and on chance finds such as a cache of silver tetradrachms attributed to the site (Baramki 1944) and the later Tyche presumably found in the road cut (Sukenik 1922), had asserted the existence of a fortified town occupying the entire mound (Negev 1976; Hestrin 1993). The attribution of the fortifications (EB III Wall C, described in BY I: Chapter 6) to the Hellenistic period rested both on Hellenistic finds made by Bar-Adon within several towers and the assumption that round towers should be ascribed, by default, a Hellenistic date. However, the most recent considerations of the latest stone fortifications, by Getzov (2006) and by Greenberg et al. (BY I), supply evidence for an original Early Bronze Age date for Wall C, as well as for the presence of Hellenistic burials in or near the fortifications that imply that at least parts of the wall were considered to be separate from the settlement. The recent work of the Tel Aviv University team (Greenberg and Paz 2010) has allowed us to observe site formation processes in various parts of the mound. These observations suggest that when Hellenistic settlers first arrived at the site, most of which had been abandoned for two millennia, they found not the gently undulating surface of the modern mound, but an uneven surface pockmarked with ruins and with prominent stone foundations of fortifications and of monumental structures. The main concentrations of houses were built away from the massive earlier remains, which were used for refuse disposal and possibly for crafts such as potting (a large pit with kiln fragments was excavated in the Early Bronze Age Circles Building in 2009).

Post-Hellenistic presence on Tel Bet Yeraḥ was quite limited in extent and did not produce massive deposits. Early excavators reported Roman remains, but virtually nothing of this period can be identified in the remaining collections. Byzantine occupation appears to be limited to the church excavated and published by Delougaz and Haines (1960). The same excavators also identified substantial Early Islamic construction above the church; this was associated with the historical Umayyad palatial site of al-Ṣinnabra, although it was generally thought that the palace itself was located north of the mound.


View Bet Yeraḥ, The Early Bronze Age Mound. Volume II: Urban Structure and Material Culture, 1933-1986 Excavations

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HAZOR VII. The 1990-2012 Excavations. The Bronze Age
Ben-Tor, Amnon, Sharon Zuckerman, Shlomit Bechar, and Débora Sandhaus, HAZOR VII. The 1990-2012 Excavations. The Bronze Age, ed. Tsipi Kuper-Blau (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Exploration Society, 2017), pp. 737.Abstract

With contibutions by Vladimir Avrutis, David Ben-Shlomo, Daphna Ben-Tor, Ruhama Bonfil, Manuel Cimadevilla, Simon Conner, Wayne Horowitz, Othmar Keel, Ron Kehati, Dimitri Laboury, Ron Lavi, Justin Lev-Tov, Marcel Marée, Nimrod Marom, Mario Martin, Liat Naeh, Tallay Ornan, Laura A. Peri, Maud Spaer, Miriam Tadmor, Dalit Weinblatt, Naama Yahalom-Mack, and David Ziegler

The seventh volume of the Hazor final reports, published in 2017 by Israel Exploration Society in cooperation with the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is dedicated to the Bronze Age finds in Area A, located at the center of the acropolis. This monumental volume brings to light the results of the renewed excavations in 1990–2012. Part I presents the stratigraphic analysis of the architectural finds dated to the third and second millennia (Strata XX–XIII), offering a new understanding of some of these strata. Part II offers an analysis of the ceramic finds dating from the Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. This part includes typological schemes of the Bronze Age ceramic finds from Hazor as well as a discussion of the functional, regional and chronological aspects of the Hazor assemblages. Part III presents the many other finds dating from the Bronze Age, including statues, figurines, jewellery, tools, weapons and cuneiform tablets.

752 pages; 34 × 23.5 cm; hard cover. Numerous photos and drawings; ISBN 978-965-221-112-5; price: $120 ($90 to IES members); postage: airmail USA $58; Europe $30; surface mail $20

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Palaepaphos-Skales : Tombs of the Late Cypriote IIIB and Cypro-Geometric Periods (Excavations of 2008 and 2011)
Karageorghis, Vassos, and Efstathios Raptou, Palaepaphos-Skales : Tombs of the Late Cypriote IIIB and Cypro-Geometric Periods (Excavations of 2008 and 2011) (Nicosia, The Cyprus Institute, 2016), pp. xvi+162+101 color and b&w plates.Abstract

In this book the authors publish thirteen tombs and two pyres excavated by the Cyprus Department of Antiquities in the cemeteries of Palaepaphos, on the western part of Cyprus. More tombs from the same cemeteries were published by the same authors in 2015 and earlier (by V. Karageorghis) in 1983. They date to the Late Cypriote IIIB (ca. 1100-1050 B.C.) and the Cypro-Geometric I-III periods (ca. 1050-750 B.C.) There is an excavation report for each tomb, a detail catalogue of objects and a commentary for all ceramic types and other items found in each tomb and a note on chronology. A chapter on historical conclusions places these tombs against their historical background. The transition from the end of the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age (Cypro-Geometric period) is marked by the development of an elite society of Greek settlers from the Aegean, who introduced not only artistic styles but also funerary customs.

Of particular interest among the tomb gifts are the bronze vessels; of an exceptionally fine quality is a bronze amphoroid crater found in a tomb of the 11th cent. B.C., whose handles and rim were cast and are decorated in relief with pictorial motifs. Ten appendices written by specialists deal with topics like epigraphy, human and animal skeletal remains, marine molluscs, mineralized textiles etc.


Beer-Sheba III - The Early Iron IIA Enclosed Settlement and the Late Iron IIA–Iron IIB Cities
Herzog, Ze'ev, and Lily Singer-Avitz, Beer-Sheba III - The Early Iron IIA Enclosed Settlement and the Late Iron IIA–Iron IIB Cities, Vols. I-III (Winona Lake, IN, Eisenbrauns, 2016), pp. 1534; many illustrations.Abstract

The publication of the full report of the Tel Beer-sheba Iron Age remains is a fulfillment of a scientific dream. The excavations at Tel Beer-sheba, carried out under the auspices of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, were the highlight of Yohanan Aharoni’s vast research program in the Beer-sheba Valley. He directed this program from 1969 until his untimely death in 1976 at the age of 56. The final season of excavations at Tel Beer-sheba, the eighth, took place in the summer of 1976 and was carried out after Aharoni’s demise by his chief assistants, Ze’ev Herzog, Itzhaq Beit-Arieh, and Anson F. Rainey. The latter two regrettably did not live to see the completion of this publication, but they shared in the work, as did the young staff members who enabled the Tel Beer-sheba project to become a reality.

During the National Parks Authority site development, there was further exposure, mainly of the water supply systems, directed by Ze’ev Herzog with David Sappo (Western Quarter, 1990–1991), with Tsvika Tsuk (the well, 1993) and finally with Ido Ginaton (the water-system, 1994–1995).

Now, after a lengthy process of analyzing the excavations in the storerooms of Tel Aviv University’s Institute of Archaeology and digging through the endless documentary material amassed, the full data is proudly presented. This work is offered not merely as a final report but as a starting point for further scientific inquiry on the abundant architectural, artifactual, and ecofactual data from Tel Beer-sheba.

Volume I reports on the stratigraphy and architecture, volume 2 on the pottery; and volume 3 on the artifacts, ecofacts, and also provides concluding studies. The three volumes are profusely illustrated and an essential resource for anyone interested in the history of Judah, the Beer-sheba Valley, the site itself, and life during the Iron Age in the southern Levant.

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